There's Big News About The Next Mini Countryman

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It's the end of an era.

For the 2021 model year, the Mini Cooper Countryman was updated with fresh styling, new trim options, and an upgraded interior with a new standard digital cockpit. At over 13 feet long, the Countryman is the largest model in Mini's current range. Since the Countryman has only just received a mid-cycle facelift, the next-generation model is still a few years away.

When it does enter production, however, it will no longer be produced at the VDL Nedcar plant in the Netherlands, where the current-generation Countryman has been built since 2016. Instead, it will be developed in-house by BMW, with sources citing the change is due to the disruption caused by the pandemic.

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In a statement, VDL Nedcar confirmed it has not received a follow-up order for the next Countryman. "This decision is a disappointment for us and our employees at VDL Nedcar who work with great dedication on building fantastic cars," said President & CEO Willem van der Leegte of VDL Groep.

"We have done everything in our power to tie BMW to us with a new follow-up order. Due to the spirit of times, this competition was unfortunately not to be won now. In order to ensure long-term employment in Born, we will intensify the search for the filling in of the free production capacity".

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"BMW emphatically states that VDL Nedcar's quality, delivery reliability and competitiveness were not the basis for the decision," the manufacturer said in a statement.

Since opening in 1967, the third-party manufacturer has built cars for DAF, Volvo, Smart, Mitsubishi, and Mini. When operating in two shifts, the factory has a production of over 200,000 cars per year. Exactly when the all-new Mini Countryman will enter production is unknown, but it's safe to assume it will arrive later than planned since the production of the next-generation Mini Cooper has also been delayed because of the pandemic. As a result, Mini is currently working on a surprise second facelift to keep sales strong.

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